Exposition of the Holy Quran – 49 Al-Hujuraat (G A Parwez)

Surah 49: Al-Hujuraat

(The Private Apartments)

(1) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! (The foremost and fundamental conditions for the universal revolution, for which you have risen as harbingers, is to maintain complete discipline in your ranks and personal life. For this keep in mind that) Unless you receive a directive from the centre of the divine order, do not take any steps on your own. Always wait to receive its directive. Guard the divine laws under all circumstances. Remember Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing. (Hence any decision taken according to His laws, will certainly be the best.)

(2) And keep your views subservient to the central authority. Do not let your voice rise above that of the Nabi; and during the course of consultations, do not create a noisy atmosphere in order to make your suggestion prevail, like you do when talking to each other. If you do so your deeds will go waste, without you ever being aware of it. (This will be the inadvertent consequence of your attitude.)

(3) Verily Allah cleanses and purifies the hearts of those who keep their views subservient to the centre. (They wholeheartedly obey the laws.) He keeps them safe from destruction and bestows great rewards upon them.

(4) And when some uncultured people come to see you they start shouting for you from outside your house. (They ignore the demands of collective discipline and even normal social etiquette.)

(5) They should wait for you to come out of the house (then they can say whatever they want to, with dignity and respect). This attitude would be much better for them. Nevertheless, (since these people unknowingly do such things out of ignorance, not meaning any disrespect) Allah Almighty forgives this attitude and makes provisions not only to protect them, but also to provide for their development.

(6) O Rasool! Tell your companions, “If any devious person comes to you with a (slanderous) tale, do not accept it immediately. First verify it, lest you unwittingly take a step which brings harm to someone; and then regret what you have done.”

(7) (Remember, you are no longer living a life of indiscipline and disorder. Now you are under collective discipline and order and have a system with its own central authority and) Allah’s Rasool is living amongst you. All issues must be referred to him and you should act according to whatever decision he gives. Do not expect that he will accept or comply with whatever you say. If he starts doing so it will surely create disorder and cause you trouble. Allah Almighty wants that you stay firm in your faith and embellish your hearts with it. (This can be done practically by willingly obeying the divine laws and keeping your own ideas subservient to them.) Allah does not want you to deny His laws or select some other course and rebel against His order. Remember! Those who adopt a righteous way of life with firm faith shall stay away from disbelief and rebellion. These are the people who are on the rightly guided path.

(8) As a result they will receive all kinds of comforts, bounties and pleasures of life. Remember that whatever Allah commands is based on His absolute knowledge and wisdom.

(9) Whenever two groups of momineen fight one another, make peace between them immediately. If one of the two groups again commits aggression against the other, you should fight the transgressors until they return to the decision made earlier according to the divine law. Thereafter, if they do return, make just and fair peace between them. Always be just, as according to the divine laws this attribute is highly commendable.

(10) (While dealing with such matters remember that) All momineen are brethren and as such when making peace between them, consider both as your brothers. Your decision should be just and fair, according to the divine laws. In this way your jama will continue to receive Allah’s rahma.

(11) (Sometimes, due to mutual differences you are overpowered by feelings of dislike and hatred. In such situations do not indulge in detestable actions. For instance) One faction starts to ridicule the other and tries to belittle them. It is quite possible that those being ridiculed might be better than the members of your own party. Neither your men nor women should show such behaviour; nor should you scandalize one another; nor be sarcastic and call offensive names. After professing eiman you are expected to exhibit exemplary behaviour. You should not address one another rudely. This is very offensive. If someone has acted like that he should immediately regret it and stop this attitude. If he does not do so, according to the divine law he would be considered guilty.

(12) (When mutual differences arise, mischievous people take advantage and tell tales to both parties. In this regard you should be very careful. Have positive feelings and) Avoid ill feelings against others. Furthermore, some ill feelings dull good will. And do not eavesdrop or backbite against one another. Would any one of you like to eat the flesh of a dead brother? You would abhor it! (Backbiting is that detestable.)

In short, always remain conscious of the divine laws. If you have committed a mistake somewhere, then correct yourself by being ashamed of it. In this way the divine law will forgive your slips and ensure that the development of your self does not suffer.

(13) (The above social evils have been mentioned because some people consider themselves superior and try to belittle others. This attitude is also prevalent in other walks of life. For instance, men think that they are superior to women; or that certain families are more respectable than others. Both these concepts are wrong.) We have created human beings in a manner that all of them are formed from a male and female (meaning that in every child, whether male or female, there is a portion of a man and a woman. It is, therefore, incorrect to presume that men are superior to women, or women as human beings are inferior to men). As regards various families or tribes, the objective (of distinctions) is that you should be able to recognize each other. No tribe or family is superior to another. According to the divine law the criteria to determine status or superiority is how closely and consciously one follows and guards the divine laws. And who obeys Him more, the one whose whole life is in conformity with this criterion is most worthy of respect. The person may either be a man or a woman, or from any family or tribe. The criterion for superiority is not race or status, but personal character and behaviour. This is being told by the Almighty, Who knows well what superiority means and how it is earned.

(14) (Even the factor determining the status of those entering the Islamic order will be based on this very criteria. For instance) The Bedouins say, “We profess eiman. Consider us among the momineen.” Tell them, “You have not yet attained the status of a momin. You have only surrendered (outwardly) to the authority of the Islamic state, but eiman has not entered deep into your hearts. However, if you continue to obey the divine system which has been established by the Rasool, you will receive full reward for your deeds. Not even the smallest of your deeds will go waste; and like everyone else you will continue to receive means of nourishment and protection from this system.”

(15) The momineen are those who profess eiman in Allah and His Rasool (after pondering over it) in a way that there remains no doubt in their minds whatsoever; and they make continuous efforts and strive hard to establish and strengthen this order. They spend their wealth and if the occasion demands, give their lives for this purpose. These people are true to their commitment.

(16) Tell them (the people who only talk and do not work accordingly), “Do you want to convince Allah just by talking that you are extremely obedient and firm in faith? Remember, Allah knows everything that exists in the heavens and on the earth. He is well aware of everything.”

(17) (O Rasool!) Then these people talk as if they have done you a favour by accepting Islam. Tell them, “Do not claim any favour from me. In fact this is Allah’s beneficence upon you that He has guided you to to eiman. Thus, if you are really serious and true in your claim, it is demanded that you express gratitude to Allah, rather than claim any favour from me.”

(18) Tell them that your saying so, or reminders do not make any difference, for Allah knows the hidden realities and secrets of the entire universe. How can your deeds remain hidden from him? He sees all that you do. The result of every action is compiled according to His Law of Mukafat.

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